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August 10, 2023

Initiative Launched to Nurture Music Industry Business in Greater New Orleans

Today, GNO, Inc. in partnership with The Idea Village, Louisiana Entertainment, New Orleans & Company, and the City of New Orleans launched METRONOME, an electrifying series of programs focused on growing the business aspects of the music industry.  With a mission to forge a resilient and dynamic music ecosystem, METRONOME will cultivate a thriving space where local music industry professionals can unleash their full potential and flourish.

“For decades Greater New Orleans has been culturally colonized, as we have produced music and culture but have not benefited in kind.” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “METRONOME will begin to address this historical imbalance, as the programs will help spawn innovation, prepare our residents for better careers, and educate musicians on how to financially capitalize on their talent. It’s time to turn up the volume and amplify the future of New Orleans’ music industry.”

METRONOME kicked off with a vibrant event at Tipitina’s, which featured the graduation ceremony for the second cohort of the Music Industry Career Development University Program (MIC’D UP), an apprenticeship program that’s an integral part of the METRONOME initiative. GNO, Inc. and partners also presented new programs tailored for music industry founders and artists exploring fresh avenues to monetize their music.

“We continue to fully engage and support efforts to enhance Louisiana’s entertainment industry and develop its unique workforce,” LED Secretary Don Pierson said. “Our musical heritage is a significant part of Louisiana’s cultural charm, but it’s more than just good times rolling. Our Grammy Award-winning talent provides leverage for us in the music industry. We want to extend our world-class status by assisting developing artists and music-related entrepreneurs in all aspects of their careers and business development. LED’s investment in the Metronome program demonstrates our commitment to supporting this important industry which will not only create jobs but also enrich our unique Louisiana culture.”   

Partnering with The Idea Village, METRONOME initiated a new track in the IDEAinstitute Fall 2023 cohort, specifically geared towards entrepreneurs focused on developing industry solutions and creating new opportunities in the music sector. During with the 10-week IDEAinstitute program, METRONOME entrepreneurs will gain access to a dedicated, industry-focused mentor, specialized workshops, coworking space, highly curated coaching sessions, and ongoing peer-to-peer connection opportunities.


“Through METRONOME, music entrepreneurs will learn how to move a business from idea stage to a venture-ready startup,” said Jon Atkinson, C.E.O. of The Idea Village. “As part of our IDEAinstitute program, METRONOME entrepreneurs will receive the programming, resources and mentorship needed to create thriving businesses that cultivate and grow New Orleans’ music and cultural economy,”

The Fall 2023 cohort starts the week of September 4th and concludes the week of November 27th. Plans for a Spring 2024 are already underway and will be announced soon.

“For many years leaders across New Orleans and Louisiana have worked to strengthen and grow the music economy,” said Walter J. Leger III, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company. “New Orleans & Company has supported this initiative from the very beginning.  METRONOME will continue the mission to develop an environment where our musicians, culture bearers and all those who make a living in the music business can thrive.  This October, as we celebrate Music Month in New Orleans for the first time, we look forward to celebrating how music underlies our entire cultural landscape in deep and meaningful ways every day of the year. We are united with GNO Inc and other METRONOME partners that music can continue to be source of cultural richness and economic power to improve quality of life for musicians and enhance the cultural economy.”

METRONOME is devoted to enhancing opportunities for emerging local talent. Through the expansion of paid internships via MIC’D UP and strategic partnerships across the region, regional partners are dedicated to nurturing the next generation of music industry leaders.

“As the birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans is known globally for our musical creativity, as it is one of the most important parts of our culture. We are in a new era of creativity where our artists can and should keep more of the value they create. Now, for the first time in a long time, we are investing in human infrastructure to further support our local artists, which is a huge opportunity and major win for our city,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “METRONOME will support our home-grown musicians in building their businesses and their brand in our city and beyond. We are excited about this new initiative and for the future added value it will bring to our cultural community.” 

Moving forward, METRONOME will increase the efficacy of existing local programs through industry partnerships and increasing awareness of training opportunities. This includes the creation of new educational initiatives, mentorship programs, and a guest speaker series to address critical gaps in the music industry ecosystem.

“New Orleans is known around the world for our talented musicians, and we want to continue that legacy by creating a space where musicians can thrive and grow their businesses,” says Louis David, Interim President and CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance. “New Orleans Business Alliance is excited to work with musicians and entrepreneurs in our network to be a part of METRONOME – building businesses, jobs and generational wealth in the city.”

METRONOME is the next phase of GNO, Inc.’s New Orleans Music Economy (NOME) initiative, which successfully catalyzed the local music ecosystem to develop a master plan, created by Sound Diplomacy, to increase business activity within the music industry. These programs bring the goals outlined in that plan to life.